EP11 | How to Film Your Own Overlanding Adventure

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Episode Description

Ever wanted to start filming your own adventures? Then be sure to listen to this podcast to help get you started! X Overland is launching their second Overlander Film Fest in 2023!. In that spirit, the XO team would like to share some tips and insight to help new and experienced filmmakers alike.

Join the conversation, and gather some insight into the creative approach of critically acclaimed filmmaker and Expedition Overland co-founder, Clay Croft, along with XO cinematographer, Tanner Johnson as the two discuss approaches to successfully filming your own overlanding adventures.

Finally, find all of the 2023 Overlanding Film Fest specifics outlined here, including awards categories, submission guidelines, and effective timelines for creating and entering your films.

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Detailed Episode Summary

Part 1 (1:10-4:05) Intro/What are the Differences between Vlogging and Filmmaking? Filmmaking as an artform vs. vlogging on the daily. The launching of the 2nd Overlander Film Fest and the timelines of submission, judging, and festival screening.

Part 2 (4:05-7:25) The Value of Story in Filmmaking: Clay discusses the tagline of the Overlander Film Festival, “May the best story win,” explaining the difference between a vlog and film on the level of storytelling. The vlog as daily documentation vs feature length story.

Part 3 (7:30-12:25) Defining Cinematography and what it Means to be a Cinematographer: The relationship between the director and the cinematographer explained. Realizing the vision of the director and translating that down the line. How the roles of director and cinematographer are played out at Expedition Overland and approaches to production for the upcoming Nordic Series.

Part 4 (12:30-16:40) What is “Guerrilla” Filmmaking? Big Budget Filmmaking vs. Lower Budget filmmaking. Faster, dynamic, filmmaking in real time (“reality”). Where the filmmaking of Expedition Overland fits into the broader picture of film and filmmaking. The quality of the film improving as the number of specialized roles increases.

Part 5 (16:45-20:30) The Value of Identifying Filmmaking Roles and Fulfilling them throughout the Process: Tanner explains the value of understanding all the roles of filmmaking: pre-production, production, post-production. Clay explains the important role of being a film editor and why the editor must be separate from the “set”/production.

Part 6 (20:35-23:30) With so much involved in Filmmaking, how does a solo filmmaker fulfill the many roles needed to make a great film? Clay explains the value of compartmentalization and the need to slow down the process to function in these roles. The value of “old movies” with limited technology as a means of studying storytelling through film.

Part 7 (23:35-26:50) Filmmaking Equipment Needed to Make an Overlanding Film: Tanner explains how “cinematic” filming has more to do with knowledge and skill of the person behind the camera–their understanding of what “cinematic” filming looks like–rather than on what device they are filming with.

Part 8 (27:00-32:10) How do you tell a Great Story? Since “story” is the most important element in a great film, how do you tell it? Clay the key archetypal elements of a great story and how one may use these to tell a story of their own. The value and importance of making cuts to your footage to tell a better story. The value of understanding post-production to become a more effective filmmaker.

Part 9 (32:15-36:45) The Value of Inspiration: Considering your story–the story you want to capture before you go into the field to film. Clay explains the need to be inspired about the story you wish to tell and create. How to prevent your “story” from becoming an “assignment.” The Inner-Workings of Expedition Overland as Inspired Filmmaking.

Part 10 (36:50-38:20) Tanner’s ideas for Stories: Ceasing up “firsts” in your overlanding experiences as opportunities for stories.

Part 11 (38:25-40:11) The Value of Vulnerability in Storytelling: Clay shares his insight on the importance and value of vulnerability in developing meaningful characters. How to get past problems with ego to reach an authentic presentation of your character and situation. Tanner and Clay share their perspective and experiences related to vulnerability on expeditions.

Part 12 (40:15-45:50) How to Develop Compelling Characters in Your Story: Expedition Overland team members as “characters” in their own series. The need to be an interesting character worthy of building a story around. “If you’re not a character, then why are you in the story?” How everyone in the story has to serve a role.

Part 13 (45:55-55:45) Overlander Film Fest 2023 Launch! Interested in creating a film to submit to the Overlander Film Fest in 2023? Clay, Tanner, and Jimmy discuss all the need-to-knows to get your film in the festival! The Overlander Film Fest is there to inspire high-end filmmaking through an alternative platform from YouTube and social platforms. Clay discusses categories within the festival and key elements of a successful submission. All key items and elements of the film festival submission timelines explained along with technical specs related to submission. The introduction of the “First-Time Filmmaker Category” for the Overlander Film Festival!

55:50-End: Clay Provides Key Resources for Aspiring Filmmakers: Clay shares books and resources for filmmakers that are required reading for himself and team members at Expedition Overland. Tanner gives his own pro-tips for overlanding filmmakers to help them get started and create more effective, impactful films along with technical tips for camera work. Clay explains the value of sound in filmmaking.

Helpful Resources:

  • Clay’s Recommended Books for Filmmaking:
  • Setting Up Your Shots by Jeremy Vineyard
  • American Cinematographer’s Manual (“The Cinematographer’s Bible”)
  • In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch
  • Various Books on Literary Archetypes and Character Development
  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

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